Healthcare in Albania



The healthcare system in Albania is said to have suffered a great deal following the fall of Communism in the country. However, the local government started to modernise the national health care and now, Albania has a total of 51 hospitals including specialist facilities and a military hospital. 

Implementing a rigidly structured, centralized system, Albania’s Ministry of Health (Ministria e Shëndetësisë) controls the health services for all its citizens. However, due to the struggling economy of Albania, widespread poverty and lack of sufficient funding, the government is having a difficult time attending to the medical needs of Albanian nationals. It is without a doubt that the public healthcare system is in dire need of support. Most doctors and medical personnel in Albania are being left behind in terms of new techniques and medical developments. Though the Albania has been able to eradicate malaria, the country is still finding it difficult to cope with modern day health issues such as AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and drug abuse. 

The Albanian Public Healthcare System 

By law, all Albanian citizens are entitled to get equal access to healthcare in the country. The public healthcare system is controlled by the state and is divided into three tiers. The first level corresponds to primary health care, including health, hygiene, maternity and paediatric clinics, health education centres, local emergency rooms and rural hospitals. The next level caters to secondary care and is made up of diagnostic and medical services in hospitals and polyclinics. The last level administers tertiary care and consists of scientific research medicine, which includes four national university centres equipped with diagnostic services. 

Funding for the public healthcare scheme comes from contributions from employers, employees and self-employed individuals. However, the high unemployment rate which is currently at 14.5%, means there are less contributions and Albanian citizens as well as expatriates who are dependent to the national healthcare system are not getting adequate medical attention. 

Public and Private Hospitals 

Although there have been reports that the condition of the healthcare system in Albania is starting to make progress, several hospitals still lack basic medical supplies. The capital city, Tirana, is equipped with a number of clinics and tertiary hospitals with improved standards due to the increasing number of foreign tourists and investors in Albania. Two of the largest hospitals situated in the heart of Albania are University Hospital of Mother Teresa and Central Military Hospital

Medical care outside the main cities is provided by health centres that are supervised by the local governments. These health centres offer services such as child healthcare, maternity care and immunisations. The Albanian government and the Ministry of Health is currently striving on adding more medical facilities with the financial assistances from the German government and World Bank. 

The private health sector in Albania is still also under development, and mostly covers dental and pharmaceutical services. Most of the private medical facilities are concentrated in Tirana including the Hygeia Hospital, American Hospital and German Hospital.

Pharmacies in Albania 

Generally speaking, the pharmaceutical industry in Albania is predominantly privatised. This country has a total of 1,020 pharmacies and 42 hospital pharmacies. Most of the drugs sold in Albania are imported and usually, international brands represent the market. It is the duty of the Ministry of Health to supervise the local pharmaceutical industry while the National Agency of Drugs and Medical Equipment handle the registration process. Below are some of the pharmacies that are located in Tirana: 

  • Night Drug Store – 24-hour Pharmacy

Bul.Zog1 (near bar London)

Tel: 00 355 4 2222 241 

  • Alb Trade Farma

Rr. Pjeter Bogdani No 25

Tel: 00 355 4 2250 737 

  • Megapharm

Rr. Ismail Qemali No 32/1

Tel: 00 355 4 2245 060 

  • Penta Farm (most visited by expats)

Rr.Hoxha Tasim No 52/1

Tel: 00 355 4 2232 960

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